Late February 2007

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Just want to say 'Hi?'

Our Photos Online

My avocation during our
travels is photography,
but Sandra is also taking
photos. Click the links
below to see our galleries

Sandra's Photos
Gordon's Photos

Sandra's Nightly News (Blog)

Didya Know?

Each year, 9 million
tons of salt, more than
10 percent of all the
salt produced in the
world, is applied to
American highways for
road de-icing.

Papaya can be used
as a meat tenderizer.

A Spot 'O Humor

A day without sunshine
is like...well...night.

Change is inevitable,
except from
a vending machine.

Parting Thot

Not life, but good life,
is to be chiefly valued.

- Socrates

Cast of Characters

For those reading this page who might
not be familiar with the people in
my life, these are who I often refer to
without noting who they are
(in alphabetical order)...

Becky - Nick's wife
Betty - Sandra's older sister
Caden - Grandson
Carol - my younger sister
Danica - Margie's daughter
Eric - Son-in-law
Faith - Granddaughter
Garth - Betty's husband
Grace - Granddaughter
Ian - my son
John - Margie's husband
Lillian - Granddaughter
Luke - Grandson
Margie - Sandra's younger sister
Michelle - my daughter
Nick - Margie's son
Rick - Carol's husband
Sandra - my most wonderful wife
Tracy - Daughter-in-law


Our Day At Hammond

- Last day of February already. Time sure flies when one isn't slipping and sliding around in snow and ice.
    Yesterday, I was up early and headed out to see some of the things in the area that Gayle and Breland had told us about the night before.
    The morning was quite foggy when I left the campground, but as I drove south on highway I-55 it began to clear, for which I was glad because I hate driving in fog, especially in unfamiliar territory.
    A few miles south of Hammond the freeway becomes an elevated causeway (the 'high road'), passing over bayous and canals near Lake Maurepas, even though the old road is down on terra firma (the 'low road') and runs right beside the high road. At the first opportunity I exited down to the low road and saw the sights along there, like the photo above of a bayou.
    Then in the afternoon, Sandra went with me to see Tickfaw State Park, hoping to see some swamp, Spanish Moss, and hopefully some wildlife. Of that, about all we saw in the park itself was some swamp. No Spanish Moss and very little wildlife and that was mostly Green Anole lizards which were plentiful and a few small birds such as a woodpecker and a couple cardinals. It was a beautiful day though and it's always nice to walk out in nature.
    Later this morning we're packing up and moving further east to Dauphin Island, Alabama on our trek to Florida. Dauphin Island is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico and is supposed to be quite scenic, have white sand beaches, and be home to a lot of birds.
    For Sandra's account of the day, click here.

A Brief Stopover At Hammond, Louisiana

- Today we made the 230 mile (370 km) move from Beaumont, Texas to the Punkin Park Campground near Hammond, Louisiana, 35 miles (56 km) east of Baton Rouge, 195 miles of the drive being along highway I-10.
    The stretch of that road from Beaumont, Texas through Louisiana and a ways into Mississippi has been notorious among RVers for years as the bumpiest, most uneven section of interstate highway anywhere in the country and that indeed has been our experience with it, having driven along it two years ago, heading west. But happily, they've been working on it and on the trip today we only encountered about a total of twenty miles where it was exceptionally bad. On arrival here at Hammond, all we found that had been jarred loose was one of the license plate lights on the rear of the RV that was dangling from its wires and the water intake door had swung open. Both very minor, but I hope they aren't indicative of things less visible having worked loose as well. Only time will tell.
    The price for all the road construction to improve I-10 was mile after mile of the lanes being lined by the dreaded concrete barriers, but those don't fill me with terror like they once did and only one lunatic hot-dog 18-wheeler felt compelled to pass me in one of those construction zones, so the white-knuckle moments were thankfully few.
    Anyway, we left Beaumont at 9am and arrived here at 1pm and were completely setup by 3pm with both satellites accessed.
    We have signed up to be here 2 nights. Not only because after two days on the road I'm ready for a breather, but as it turned out, a couple I know via the internet, Gayle and Breland, both photographers and who both post photos on the same photo hosting site I use ( are from near this area and had made arrangements to meet with us, which they did and also very graciously took us out to dinner at the Tope La Restaurant in Hammond. This was a very nice restaurant, especially to people like Sandra and myself who feel dining at Taco Bell is a night out on the town.
    We enjoyed a very pleasant evening with Gayle and Breland, who themselves recently bought a fifth wheel RV and spent some time in it in New Mexico. They gave us some tips on photogenic places to see in this area, so my day tomorrow will be filled checking those out.
    The photo above shows a family of ducks on the little lake here in the campground and click here for a photo of our campsite.
    For Sandra's account of the day, click here.

Overnighting In Beaumont, Texas

- As planned, we made the 256 mile (412 km) move today to the Gulf Coast RV Resort in Beaumont, Texas. We left Fulton at 9am and arrived here at 2:15pm.
     The largest part of the drive today was on Highway 35, a very good surface road that's mostly 2 lanes with some 4 lanes in towns and cities, so considering that and the fact we drove into a stiff headwind most of the way, we made pretty good time.
    Driving around Houston was fairly painless, considering it's the fourth largest city in the US, but I'm glad we did it on a Sunday and I'm glad they have a toll road bypass because traffic on that is understandably much lighter than on the interstate highway bypass.
    For Sandra's account of the day, click here.

Starting Our Trek To Florida

- Just a quick report to announce we are leaving the Coastal Bend of Texas later this morning, starting our trek to Fort Myers, Florida and planning to spend our first night on the road at the Gulf Coast RV Resort in Beaumont, Texas, which, being on the other side of Houston, puts us going through that very large city on a Sunday afternoon, so traffic should be more manageable than it would be on other days.
    Despite the less than ideal weather we often had during our stay here in Texas, overall the stay was very enjoyable and I'm going to miss it here.

A Night Out On The Town
- With our time in the Coastal Bend of Texas drawing to a close, Sandra and I have been trying to finish up doing the things we've been putting off, like seeing the rest of downtown Corpus Christi (so far, only I had seen any of it and then only along the bayfront) and like me shooting some twilight and night photography around the city, in particular the skyline.
    So, late afternoon yesterday we returned to the city and did indeed end up seeing much of the downtown. There were a couple interesting areas, but found the bayfront was still the most interesting and scenic. We drove by a couple museums and walked around the pavilion under the city's big Harbor Bridge that crosses Corpus Christi Channel, but probably the most interesting area away from the bayfront was Heritage Park, where we also parked and walked around a bit. This is about a square block of restored turn of the century houses that reflect the lifestyle of the city's founders.
    After seeing all that, we returned to the bayfront and I showed Sandra around the marina and its 'T-Heads', extensions into the harbor of 3 city streets on landfills that are shaped like a 'T'. They also have some nightspots out on the T-Heads, including Joe's Crab Shack where we ended up having dinner on Joe's 'Big Deck' overlooking part of the marina and Corpus Christi Bay. The place is hardly a shack and the food was excellent, reasonably priced, and the waiting staff friendly, so we wouldn't hesitate to go back.
    I had originally thought I'd take my nightshots of the skyline from the end of a jetty that runs along the length of the USS Lexington, a WWII aircraft carrier now permanently on display as a museum in Corpus Christi Harbor and one of the city's main tourist attractions, but instead of the jetty I decided the view from the T-Head by Joe's Crab Shack was probably better and saved time and effort, as well.
    There are no doubt many things we haven't seen yet in Corpus Christi, but I feel like we've now at least seen some of its best things and I expect we'll be back in a couple years and can see more then.

    For Sandra's account of the day, click here.

We Go 'Fishing'

- We're now in our last week in Texas (which saddens me greatly) before heading over to Florida for a month. We've had a few days recently of good we tried to make the most of it while we had it, although as I write this in the wee hours, it's sporadically raining again. We've been out and about in the area and we've actually had a couple decent sunrises and sunsets to photograph.
    However, the biggest thing we've done since my last report was when we went 'fishing' yesterday.
    This wasn't in the usual sense with a rod and reel, because neither of us likes to fish very much (although this is certainly a good area to do that in if one is so inclined and it almost makes me wish I had an interest in it), but for our 'fishing' expedition we made the 32 mile (51 km) drive to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. I've taken a lot of photos of birds around here, and I thought it only fitting to add some pictures of fish to my photo galleries, since fishing is such an important activity in this region and what better (and easier) way to find fish to photograph than in an aquarium?
    Unfortunately, yesterday was a holiday (Presidents Day) and I didn't stop to think about what impact that might have on aquarium attendance until Sandra and I were already on the road and on arrival my fears were confirmed when the first parking lot we tried was full and then reconfirmed when we got inside and saw a high percentage of those in attendance were little kids.
    Not that I have anything against kids in general, but when trying to shoot photographs they not only get in the way, they also leave fingerprints, handprints, noseprints, snot, and drool all over the glass I'm forced to photograph through. To their credit, all the kids, while being kids (in other words noisy and totally unaware of anything else around them but the fish), were all well-behaved, but if I had it to do over again we'd have waited for another day (or taken a bottle of Windex and disinfectant).
    Kids aside, I wasn't sure what to expect at the aquarium, but far and away its centerpiece is the dolphin show (photo above). This is the only dolphin show I remember ever seeing, so I have nothing to compare it with, but it was quite interesting seeing what dolphins can be trained to do. They are clearly very intelligent creatures and I'm not sure who was having more fun, them going through their routine or the people watching them do it.
    I've started a gallery for the photos I've taken in Corpus Christi where I'm currently adding photos from the aquarium visit as I get them processed. For reference, here are the links to it and the photo galleries I've created for our other stops in this area...

Corpus Christi (photos currently being added)
Rockport/Fulton (photos currently being added)
(including subgalleries for Goose Island State Park, Roseate Spoonbills,
Whooping Cranes
and Other Birds of Rockport)
Port Aransas
(including subgalleries for Birds of Port Aransas and Horace Caldwell Pier)
Mustang Island State Park

For Sandra's account and photos of our 'fishing' trip, click here.


For Older News

To read details of our previous stops and camps, visit the News Archives.

Updated Thursday, March 1, 2007

Copyright © 2007 by Gordon L Wolford .
All rights reserved.